09 March 2011

Loosen New Zealand immigration for earthquake rebuild, says recruitment firm

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Immigration rules should be loosened and international campaigns boosted to ensure there are enough skilled workers to rebuild Christchurch, a recruitment firm said.

New Zealand immigration

New Zealand immigration rules should be changed to allow more overseas trades people to help with the rebuild.

The pressure to find skilled workers could have widespread effects on the labour market, and New Zealand Visa and immigration changes to allow more skilled migrants and workers could alleviate shortages. 

Manpower Australia and New Zealand managing director, Lincoln Crawley said:  “While rebuilding is expected to peak in the last quarter of this year, we’re going to see strong hiring expectations in Construction and Transport for the next few quarters.”

According to Manpower’s 2010 Talent Shortage Survey, skilled tradespeople and engineers are already in New Zealand’s top five skills shortages and Mr Crawley said the pressure to find skilled staff will increase significantly for the Mining & Construction sector.

“One of the dangers in any major rebuilding effort is poaching skills from other parts of the country and other industries to feed the talent shortage on the ground. To some extent, this is inevitable but we need to think strategically about where the skills will come from and what projects will be stalled as a result,” said Mr Crawley.

Mr Crawley said the country’s Mining & Construction and Transport & Utilities sectors are buoying the rest of the employment market, as rebuilding efforts in Christchurch and the Canterbury region after the recent earthquakes start to take shape.

In general, New Zealand employers have taken a step back in hiring intentions after a series of hits to national confidence, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Mr Crawley said employment intentions may fall further in coming months as the quake adds to firms' uncertainty but most sectors will be boosted in the long-run as the rebuilding begins.

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake that struck the city in February caused widespread damage to CBD buildings and was the second powerful quake in the region in six months.


The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand immigration applications to the New Zealand Embassy

 


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